Wild weather on the way

July 11, 2016

The next batch of severe weather will be hitting New Zealand from Tuesday night, with MetService forecasting heavy rain, strong winds, and snow at higher levels as a front crosses the country mid-week.

A frontal rain band will reach the South Island first, bringing heavy rain, thunderstorms and strong winds to the West Coast from Tuesday night through to Thursday. MetService are also predicting significant rain for the headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers during this time. The rain band then moves on to the North Island on Thursday, with heavy falls expected for northern and western regions.

North to north-west gales will affect exposed parts of southern and central New Zealand on Wednesday and Thursday. “The strongest winds are forecast for central parts of the South Island along with Wellington and the Wairarapa, where damaging severe gales are possible,” said meteorologist Emma Blades. “A severe weather Warning and Watch have been initiated for this weather event, but these will be added to as the event progresses so I advise the public to check in regularly for the latest updates,” added Ms Blades.

Once the main rain band has moved through, the flow turns westerly, bringing heavy swell of five to eight metres to western coasts on Thursday and Friday. This westerly flow is cooler, and snow is expected about the Southern Alps, which should provide a fantastic blanket to the Southern Lakes ski fields ready for the weekend. “We are also picking snow to fall as low as 500 metres in the far south, Otago, Westland and Buller from Thursday, although don’t expect to see huge amounts at these levels,” commented Ms Blades. For the central North Island, snow showers are forecast to 800 metres also from Thursday.

Official Severe Weather Watches and Warnings are reviewed and re-issued by MetService at least every twelve hours, and more often if necessary. To get the most up to date information on severe weather around the country, or any other forecasts, see metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook, @metservice and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com


MetService issues Warnings, Watches and Outlooks for severe weather over New Zealand.

Warnings are about taking action when severe weather is imminent or is occurring. They are issued only when required.
Recommendation: ACT 

Watches are about being alert when severe weather is possible, but not sufficiently imminent or certain for a Warning to be issued. They are issued only when required.
Recommendation: BE READY 

Outlooks are about looking ahead, providing advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings. They are issued routinely once or twice a day.
Recommendation: PLAN

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